Whisky reviews: The Singleton of Glen Ord, Dufftown

By Martin Eber, May 5 2016
Whisky reviews: The Singleton of Glen Ord, Dufftown

The Singleton is not a single distillery, but rather a brand which represents the single malts of multiple distilleries.

One of these is Glen Ord, on the edge of the Black Isle peninsula in the Scottish Highlands west of Inverness, and best known for its namesake 12 year old single malt.

Another is Dufftown, home to Glenfiddich and the self-declared Whisky Capital of the World. 

The Singleton of Glen Ord 12yo

Colour: Orange gold.

Nose: Orange peel and milk chocolate. Smooth, creamy vanilla.

Palate: Slightly thin at first, but rounds out soon after. Candied almonds and orange zest, with a slight earthiness.

Finish: Short, earthy, with the faintest hint of smoke.

Rating: 89/100. An enjoyable, approachable everyday sipper.

The Singleton of Glen Ord 18yo

Colour: Copper gold.

Nose: Not dissimilar to the 12, but much sweeter, with much more confectionary.

Palate: Vanilla, strawberries and whipped cream. A fuller mouthfeel than the 12. Some candied orange peel.

Finish: Medium length with a little more smoke than the 12.

Rating: 91/100. A nice step up from the 12, yet still very approachable.

The Singleton of Dufftown 21yo

Colour: Yellow gold.

Nose: Prawn toast, honey ginger, mum's sherry-soaked Christmas compote (particularly those sherry-soaked peach slices) no doubt due to the 21 being aged in ex-Sherry casks.

Palate: "Wow!" was the first response. Fantastic. Sweet, rich, creamy, with a seemingly perfect 43% ABV (and that's coming from someone who loves cask strength whiskies). Sesame, boiled lollies, some bortrytis semillon and loads of berries.

Finish: Long with a hint of smoke, fruit compote and lots of red berry fruits.

Rating: 93/100. Very, very good.

The Singleton of Dufftown 25yo

Colour: Light orange gold

Nose: Smooth and round but with much more tropical fruit than the 21yo, aged in ex-Bourbon American Oak casks.

Palate: Much spicier, slightly hotter. Less stewed fruits and more tropical fruits - lots of apples, pears, passionfruit and even a hint of pineapple.

Finish: Longest of the four.

Rating: 92/100. A great dram but given the choice, I would lean towards the 21yo.

Also read: Three great whiskies to buy duty-free

This article was originally published on TimeforWhisky – visit TimeForWhisky.com on the Web and on Instagram.

We welcome reader comments on whisky, but comments which are not directly related to this topic and do not add value to the conversation may be deleted without warning or explanation.

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Martin Eber

Martin is the founding editor of TimeForWhisky.com, a leading blog for lovers of the dram with tasting notes, events, bar reports, new releases and more.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

10 May 2012

Total posts 134

It might look nice to have a chunk of ice big enough to sink the Titanic floating in your glass. But really? Why even beging to talk about flavours and then freeze 'em all to the point of nothingness.  Whiskey is best served with a little drop of room temperature water IMHO.  And such a shame to waste a good Glen Ord.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 May 2016

Total posts 11

Thanks for the comments. Obviously the photos are stock PR photos provided by the parent company (Diageo), and in case it wasn't clear, the whiskies were not tasted with ice (they were tasted neat from Glencairns, as all whisky is tasted at TimeforWhisky.com and for these articles).

Whilst I completely agree that ice dulls a whisky and should never be used when *tasting* whisky, who are we to dictate how people *drink* whisky? Sometimes it's 35degC outside, you're sitting on the balcony having a BBQ, and you know what? A nice chunk of ice in your whisky/whiskey goes down a treat. I'd never "taste" or evaluate whisky with ice, but sometimes, very occasionally, I'll "drink" whisky with ice, and have no issues with anyone else doing the same.

You mention a drop of water (something I often do too) - there are some people who'd say that's herasy. Horses for courses. Life's too short to worry about how people drink their whisky. :)

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